Friday, April 27, 2012

Kazakh Tradition in Afghanistan

Antique Silver Turkoman Mountain Symbol Hair Ornament as Pendant

The Turkoman people comprise close to ten percent of the population of Afghanistan.  The Uzbeki and the Kazakh have developed their own silver and textile styles of fabricating the ancient symbols into modern fabrics and metals.  The Turkoman tribes such as the Teke, the Yomud and the Ersari who also reside in the Northern reaches of Afghanistan have their own ways of working in silver or fabrics.

The photo shows a piece of silver worked in the usual Turkoman way of having the front reflected on the back.  It is in the form of a tumar or pyramid shape, the symbolism of which is explained below.  The hollow silver pendants that hang from this piece that originally served as a veil or hair ornament also have a back piece that repeats the design on the front.  They form a rhombus, which is essentially the tumar reflected top to bottom instead of back to back.  These shapes have been established for over a thousand years among the people who came down from the Altai mountains onto the plains and steppes of Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.  This piece was created within that long tradition.  It dates from the early 1900s.  

The piece pictured above is one of a pair of Turkoman tenecir, ornaments worn on a head covering or in the hair, attached just above the ear at the temple. When worn as it is displayed on this page, the Turkoman tenecir becomes an elegant, obviously antique, handmade pendant symbolizing the mountain from which the tribe originated. Being beautifully worked in granulation on each side makes this a reversible piece of jewelry. On one side the silver is set with coral beads; on the opposite it is set with two shades of red glass beads or shards. The silver work is all original, but the metal neck chain has been added in recent times. Measurement: Length of chain is 22 inches. Ht, inc. attached symbols is 5 inches; width of pendant is 2.25 inches at base.

To purchase this item, see details HERE.

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